Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 facts for kids
|Mission type||Earth observation
|Mission duration||2 years (planned)|
|Manufacturer||Institute of Military Electronics|
|Dry mass||100 kilograms (220 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||12 December 2012, 00:49UTC|
|Semi-major axis||6,921 kilometres (4,301 mi)|
|Perigee||498 kilometres (309 mi)|
|Apogee||581 kilometres (361 mi)|
|Epoch||14 December 2012|
Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 or Gwangmyeongseong-3 ho 2-hogi is the first satellite successfully launched from North Korea, an Earth observation spacecraft that was launched on 12 December 2012, 00:49 UTC, in order to replace the original Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3, which failed to reach orbit on 13 April 2012.
North Korea claims the satellite would estimate crop yields and collect weather data as well as assess the country's forest coverage and natural resources. The country also claims that the satellite weighed about 100 kg (220 lbs) and that its planned lifetime was about two years.
The launch came during the period when the DPRK was commemorating the first anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il and just before the first South Korean domestic launch of a satellite and the South Korean presidential election on 19 December 2012. The successful launch makes the DPRK the tenth space power capable of putting satellites in orbit using its own launch vehicles.
North Korea declared the launch successful, and the South Korean military and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) reported that initial indications suggested that an object had achieved orbit. North Korea had previously claimed the Kwangmyŏngsŏng-1 and Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 launches as successful, despite American military sources claiming that they failed to achieve orbit.
Several days after the launch, Western sources stated that, while the satellite had indeed initially achieved orbit, it now seemed to be tumbling, and was probably out of control.
Images for kids
Facilities at the Musudan-ri complex in North Korea, showing the motor assembly building on the left and the launch pad on the right
Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.